At least 14 Republicans joined every present Democrat in voting to move the immigration reform bill forward in the Senate on Monday, as the Senate had enough votes to pass a measure that ends debate on an amendment that serves as a border security compromise.
The vote on the amendment, which was introduced by Republican Sens. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and John Hoeven (R-N.D.), had at least 66 votes Monday. The vote was still ongoing as of 6:45 p.m., as numerous senators were reportedly late to the vote because of various flight delays.
At least 14 Republicans voted with 52 Democrats in voting to end debate on the amendment and move the bill forward. No Democrat voted “no” on the measure.
The vote came despite complaints from conservative senators that the Senate was moving forward too hastily on a 119-page amendment that was just formally introduced on Friday.
The amendment would double the presence of border patrol agents from 20,000 to 40,000. It would also add 700 miles of border fencing and provide a compromise on the E-Verify system, an online tool that checks workers’ immigration status. Under the amendment, all employers would have to use E-Verify.
A Senate aide said that a vote on the final immigration bill could come as early as Thursday.
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